Monday, 8 August 2011

nicoise (ish) salad

Rooting through My Pictures I just found this picture of a beautiful salad based generally on the French classic. As with most of my recipes I cannot make any claim to authenticity but every dish is genuine and comes from the heart. If you're luck enough to have a veg plot or a few pots with lettuces, it has to be right to adapt and alter any instructions to make the most delicious meal that inspiration conjures.

I love this salad as, although it has quite a few ingredients, none of the individual flavours get lost. It's definitely best eaten with a glass of chilled, dry rose (preferably from the South of France) but then, let's be honest, most things are:)

Serves 2-4

  • a lettuce (round, flat, cos or lolo rosso is good - I'm not so keen on iceberg)
  • 1/2 a red onion thinnly sliced in rings
  • 1 or 2 beetroot, boiled and scrubbed then cut into small cubes
  • a small tin of anchovies
  • a small handful of black olives
  • a tin of tuna (I prefer it to be packed in oil rather than brine) - it goes without saying that a couple of pieces of fresh tuna steak, griddled or cooked quickly over hot coals would be best but it is so expensive these days. If you take this route, let the fish cool down so as not to wilt the leaves.
  • fresh young courgettes sliced thinly
  • about 3 inches of cucumber cut into quarters longways with the seeds discarded and then chopped
  • a tomato or a few cherry tomatoes
  • fresh chopped parsley or maybe some dill
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, shelled and quartered longways
I guess I'd add some fennel if I had some since it complements fish so nicely.

For the dressing:

  • the juice of a lemon (white wine vinegar would also be fine)
  • a good slug of extra virgin olive oil ( I usually work on about 3 parts oil to one part juice or vinegar)
  • salt and pepper
  1. Layer the salad ingredients finishing with the anchovies, olives and eggs
  2. Whisk the dressing briskly until it emulsifies (becomes thick like double cream) - pour over the salad just before serving
  3. Scatter the finely chopped herbs over the completed salad

I served this with some crusty bread. Needless to say, the kids didn't eat this (wouldn't even attempt it because it is a SALAD) so Ruth and I had 2 meals out of it - or maybe we just sat and ate it all; I don't remember but that sounds quite likely!


  1. Your meals are so beautiful! I have dipped through about half of them now, just staring at the pictures!

  2. well, I'm really glad you like them! Last night's mackeral is a great recipe.